MY SUMMER READING LIST
Some of you will know by now that I’m the ultimate hoarder when it comes to books. As a kid, I always had my nose stuck in a book and things are still exactly the same now that I’m an adult! Aslan and I have been planning a few trips for this Summer, and over the past few weeks I’ve been buying books like crazy in a haste to make sure that I have enough reading material for the next few months! I read throughout the whole year, but during the Summer I get through a ridiculous amount of books every week. To me, there’s nothing quite as relaxing as heading out to the garden or strolling down to the park with a good book. Not only that, but with many a long haul flight ahead of us the only way I’m going to make it through the next few weeks is with a collection of novels in my hand luggage. So many of you guys are always asking me what I’m reading and what books are on my wish list, so I thought I’d put together a little blog post to tell you about some of the books that I’m looking forward to reading in the Summer sun!
First up on my reading list is ‘How To Stop Time’ by Matt Haig. I cannot tell you how excited I am to read this book! In this story, Tom Hazard ‘may look like a normal 41 year old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries’; he’s actually 439 years old! Sounds amazing right!? This book is all about Tom’s adventures, but also describes how despite all that he’s seen and all that he’s done, all he craves is an ordinary life. There is an organisation that protects its people by constantly moving them to new areas and providing them with secret identities, the only thing that they ask in return is that Tom never falls in love. Now I can’t be the only one who’s already trying to guess how this story is going to unfold…surely Tom’s going to fall in love and end up living the rest of his life as an ordinary man just like he’s always wanted?! Who knows! All I know is that I’m super excited to get started on this book and I bet I’m going to get completely sucked into the storyline.
‘Stay With Me’ by Ayobami Adebayo sounds like its going to be a real tear jerker. The book tells a story about a woman called Yejide who is desperately hoping for a child with her husband. Sadly, Yejide and her husband find themselves unable to conceive and so his family insists that he finds himself a new wife who will bear his child. The story sounds absolutely devestating and completely heart wrenching so I know I’m going to be shedding a tear or two along the way. I’ve heard that the novel covers love, sacrifice, grief and forgiveness, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Yejide to find happiness in the end.
From what I’ve heard ‘Exit West’ by Moshin Hamid is an intensely sad but surprisingly uplifting tale of two lovers. Nadia and Saeed meet and fall in love in a city that has been overcome by civil war. They wish for nothing more than to escape their city together, but they find themselves feeling hesitant to leave the place that they have called home for so many years. What makes this story so interesting is that the entirety of their lives has been ‘normal’, they used smartphones, engaged in social media and even met at an evening class about identity and branding. However as their homeland becomes more and more violent and people are starting to be killed, they find themselves having to seek refuge. I think that this book seems especially relevant in today’s world so I’m sure it’s going to be exceptionally interesting.
‘Men Without Women’ by Haruki Murakami is a collection of seven short stories; all of which follow the theme of ‘men without women’. The men’s stories are all different, but one thing that ties them all together is their feeling of loneliness. Each story touches upon each man’s need for a woman in their life and I think it sounds so interesting! I’ve recently gotten into reading short stories and I think that I’ll probably devour this book in no time at all. I’m intrigued by this one!
I’m SO excited to read ‘The Past’ by Tessa Hadley. In this book, four adult siblings meet to spend three hot summer weeks in their Grandparents cottage in the country. Each of the siblings brings along their wives, children or partners, and the story uncovers their tense relationships with each other. Bound together for 21 days, the siblings discover and rediscover each other’s traits and come to realise that their sibling bond has changed since they were children themselves. I’ve heard mixed reviews about this book but I love reading about groups like this and learning more about their relationships with each other. The blurb on the back of the book ends with the sentence ‘Over the course of the holiday, a familiar way of life falls apart forever’ so I’m sure ‘The Past’ will be a good summer read.
Described as a ‘powerful and fascinating’ novel, ‘Do Not Say We Have Nothing’ by Madeleine Thien is a book that I’ve been dying to read for a while. I’m constantly trying to read books that will tell me something about the world we live in, so I feel like this is going to be really interesting and teach me about an issue that I should definitely be more aware of. Back in 1991 in Vancouver, Canada, 10 year old Marie and her mother invite Ai-Ming into their home. Ai-Ming is a young woman who fled China during the Tiananmen Square protests and as her relationship with Marie grows stronger she begins to tell her about her family and their lives in China. In all honesty I don’t know enough about the cultural revolution in China and I feel like it’s an issue that I should definitely learn more about. The reviews say that the book really speaks for the Chinese people and tells us about all that they have endured under a communist regime. It definitely seems like it’s going to be a heavy read but I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.
As soon as I read the blurb for ‘The Lonely City’ by Olivia Laing I knew I had to get my hands on this book. What initially drew me to this book was the fact that the main character, Olivia, moved to New York for love (something that I also did when I was 19 years old!). Unfortunately, Olivia’s relationship ends suddenly and she finds herself alone in a city that feels completely alien to her. The story is all about Olivia’s struggle with loneliness, and how that lonely feeling grew so immobilising that it eventually takes control of her entire life. I find this story so intriguing and I just know I’m going to be rooting for Olivia to overcome her loneliness and find her happy place. I’m pretty sure this is going to be a page turner.
Last but not least the book that I’m most excited to read over the summer is ‘Aliens: Is There Anyone Out There?’ by Jim Al-Khalili. The minute I saw this book on Amazon I didn’t hesitate to add it to my basket and check out right away! I’m literally obsessed with anything to do with aliens and space so of course this book had to make its way into my collection. The book answers the questions that all of us alien enthusiasts are dying to know; What do aliens look like? Where would they live? Would they be conscious beings? What would happen if they came to Earth? I’m actually SO excited to finally sit down and discover more about a subject that absolutely fascinates me. Not only that, but just when I thought I couldn’t love this book any more I opened up my amazon box to find that the side of the pages are actually GREEN. Mind blown. Defo get this if you’re as alien obsessed as I am.
Let me know if you guys like the sound of any of the books that I’ve mentioned! I think out of all of them I’m most excited to read ‘Aliens’ by Jim Al-Khalili and ‘How To Stop Time’ by Matt Haig. Also if you have any recommendations of books that you think I might like then please leave a comment down below and tell me what you think I should read! I’m always looking for new books to add to my collection.
SHOP MY READING LIST (PLUS A COUPLE MORE THAT I'M EXCITED TO READ!)
MATT HAIG 'HOW TO STOP TIME'
AYOBAMI ADEBAYO 'STAY WITH ME'
MOSHIN HAMID 'EXIT WEST'
HARUKA MURAKAMI 'MEN WITHOUT WOMEN'
TESSA HADLEY 'THE PAST'
MADELINE THIEN 'DO NOT SAY WE HAVE NOTHING'
OLIVIA LAING 'LONELY CITY'
JIM AL-KHALILI 'ALIENS'
DURGA CHEW-BOSE 'TOO MUCH AND NOT THE MOOD'
ELIF BAUTMAN 'THE IDIOT'